I hated the jams when i was in Penang just one week ago. Just 1.5km in Jalan Perak took me close to 45 minutes. This is crazy! So, when I saw this piece of news, I am very happy and I think Penang is moving in the right direction is this comes true. It was reported that GAMUDA Land is the favourite to land a job as a Project Development Partner (PDP) in the implementation of key components of an integrated transportation plan within Penang island. As usual, favourite normally would be the one who wins. (Thanks to the one who leaked the news) Other companies in the running include famous names such as IJM Corp Bhd, MMC Corp Bhd, Scomi Group and WCT Holdings Bhd. The last company is a key builder for KLIA2.
Project Development Partner meant that they are the project manager and they will have to ensure the project is completed on time. Project is valued at RM5.5 billion. All these potential PDP needs to have a minimum of RM3 Billion turnover and a track record of a minimum of 15 years in order to participate. I also like this requirement. Even if the price quoted by the most qualified company is higher than the other untested companies, I would still give it to the most qualified company because this is not a small project. Imagine you award it to an untested company and it is supposed to be completed in 5 years and this company built for 3 years, then delayed for 2 years and eventually stopped!!?? The state had just wasted a minimum of 10 years. Not 5 years because the project would have to be restarted!
Two key components mentioned would be a 17.5km LRT from Komtar to Airport and a link from Bayan Lepas to Tanjung Bungah. With sufficient stops at key areas, I think this LRT can be a success IF the state is serious in limiting the number of cars into both the town area and the Industrial Area. It’s so JAMMED all the time even today. The payment is not with cash but will involve allowing the successful company to reclaim a sizeable amount of land in the state. This should be a win-wins for both parties but the company would need really deep pockets or is able to raise cash for such a project.
Where are the two areas which will be reclaimed? They are the southern part of the island, up to 2,000 acres of which some 600 acres would be for the future expansion of the Penang International Airport and to enlarge the Free Industrial Zone. Another option is the seagrass land located in between the Penang Bridge and the river mouth of Sungai Pinang. I think both pieces are okay but if I am the developer, I would prefer the seagrass land. 🙂 I think the price psf is going to be higher but I am not the PDP. To me, this current plan seems much better than the ‘Gurney Tunnel’ project which until today I personally feel is still lopsided because the reclamation happens before the tunnel building. Perhaps I just do not have enough details.
Looking forward to a smooth traffic flow Penang in few years’ time then. Just hope it would not be another project which will only complete in 2020? There are already many projects in Penang which are either to be completed in 2020 or beyond.
written on 6 July 2014
Next suggested article: Penang Property Potential